DescriptionMissoula lies astride the Clark Fork River, a tributary of the Columbia River named for William Clark. The town also occupies a valley that was once part of Glacial Lake Missoula, a prehistoric lake.
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One of the first lumber mills in the region began in Missoula. Lumber remains not only a major industry but also a major concern. The U.S. Forest Service maintains in Missoula its Region No. 1 headquarters, a research station devoted to forest fire research and the smokejumpers' training center. The University of Montana supports these studies with a 22,000-acre experimental forest in addition to conservation and wildlife research stations.
A short drive in any direction will lead into a national forest or a wilderness area. The Rattlesnake National Recreation Area and Wilderness, 6 miles north of downtown, has many small lakes, streams and trails.
A Carousel for Missoula near Caras Park is a hand-carved 1918 merry-go-round created by volunteers. Rides are offered year-round; phone (406) 549-8382.
The International Wildlife Film Festival provides an opportunity for wildlife and conservation filmmakers, broadcasters, scientists, educators and students to network and share ideas relating to projects. The 8-day event takes place in spring.
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Visitor InfoMissoula Convention & Visitors Bureau 101 E. Main St. MISSOULA, MT 59802. Phone:(406)532-3250 or (800)526-3465
Self-guiding toursBrochures outlining walking tours of public art and historical buildings in the downtown district are available from the convention and visitors bureau.
ShoppingSouthgate Mall, US 93 and South Avenue, counts Dillard's, Herberger's and JCPenney among its 105 stores. The restored historic downtown, with a lighted riverfront nearby, also offers distinctive shopping opportunities. Montana Antique Mall, 331 W. Railroad St., has four floors of dealers in the red-bricked Hotel Montana building, which was built in 1890.
Things to SeeGarnet Ghost Town
White-water Rafting10,000 Waves Raft and Kayak Adventures